Malaysian Airlines (MAS) will become a full member of the oneworld alliance on February 1 next year, oneworld confirmed today (see here). The statement said the procedures needed to admit the airline into the alliance would be completed in the coming weeks, but its entry had been postponed until 2013 to avoid the holiday period and for other administrative reasons. MAS had previously been tipped to join the alliance before the end of this year (see here) and had begun streamlining its carry-on baggage policies ahead of the inauguration.
A spokesperson for the airline explained that in order to formally become a member, Malaysia Airlines has to fulfill a set of conditions including putting in place the required IT integration, signing a frequent flyer programme exchange agreement with other oneworld members, showing the ability to meet certain standards in its levels of service, and harmonising service levels with other members.
They said the airline had recently acheived a milestone in the process by getting its home base of Kuala Lumpur International Airport deemed as a category A airport. This followed several months of evaluation looking at oneworld and Malaysia Airlines’ capacities, connectivity, geographic location and competitive presence.
The inclusion of MAS into the alliance will add 14 new destinations in Southeast Asia to the more than 840 worldwide cities already served by various member airlines. The Malaysian flag carrier will also become the first member airline that flies to Brunei.
MAS’s frequent-flyer programme Enrich will also become part of the oneworld system. Enrich Platinum cardholders will have Emerald status in the oneworld programme, while Enrich Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Enrich Silver will be oneworld Ruby. Enrich Platinum and Gold members, along with MAS business and first class passengers, will also gain access to 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines.
Current oneworld members include airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and some 25 other affiliated airlines.
For more information, visit www.oneworld.com